[Ads-l] Anglicizing carpe diem

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat Aug 8 22:49:58 UTC 2015

I probably learned the term "carpe diem" in high school, but it sticks 
in my memory mainly from "Dead Poet's Society," a 1989 film 
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpe_diem) about living for the moment 
even if it means death.

World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions: A Resource for Readers and Writers
By Gabriel Adeleye, Kofi Acquah-Dadzie
defines (http://bit.ly/1T6VAW2) "carpe diems" as a plural noun meaning: 
Enjoying the pleasures of the day with no regard for the future

The Oxford Dictionary site 
says "carpe diem" is an exclamation and Wiktionary 
(https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/carpe_diem) labels it a proverb, but the 
phrase has found its way into various parts of speech.

1. Despite the label Wiktionary gives the expression, that page provides 
an attributive citation:

1905, G. K. Chesterton, Heretics[1], New York: John Lane, OL 24174141M:
It is the carpe diem religion; but the carpe diem religion is not the 
religion of happy people, but of very unhappy people.

2. _English Department Newsletter_
September 7, 1943
Evidently by Lt. B. Baum, evidently edited by Angell Hall

I was granted an eight-day leave, ... was spent carpe-dieming roundabout 
N.Y.--trying out new ... and seeing shows and just generally practicing 
a decent ... epicureanism.

3. "Correspondence" in _The Carleton Miscellany_ by Rackstraw Downes
Winter 1962
p. 108
Full text available under Download > All at http://bit.ly/1f0BABD

In response to an article by George P. Elliott, Downes writes:

"As venerable as _carpe diem_" he writes a few pagers later. Because 
Catullus and half a dozen others in antiquity wrote classic _carpe 
diems_, does this in any sense invalidate e.g. Ronsard's, Ben Johnson's, 
e. e. cummings' exquisite variations?

I have no idea what this means, but it looks like a noun use.

http://bit.ly/1T6Uc5M and http://bit.ly/1W9hVBt from the 1970s seem to 
have similar uses. 1995 http://bit.ly/1KaWGWE seems to define a "carpe 
diem" as an exhortation to seize the day.

4. _Another Chicano Magazine_
1989, dating by Google

He carpe diems and grabs her, thigh-high, in pretense of helping "steady 
as she goes." The firm, slick nylon translates to his pituitary some 
urgent four-letter code.

5. _Enter Whining_
By Fran Drescher
http://bit.ly/1IPIgdJ, http://bit.ly/1MUnQas

You'll laugh at the way Fran schmoozes her way into her own television 
series as she carpe diems with a CBS network executive who has the 
misfortune of being trapped in first class ("Where was he gonna go, 
coach?") with her on a 747 to

6. _Photographer's Forum_, Volume 22
1999, Google dated

I "carpe diemed" a few times in my life.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

Learn Ainu! https://sites.google.com/site/aynuitak1/home

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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